Best practices for an eCommerce email marketing campaign

At first glance, email marketing can appear simple. Everyone loves a deal, so creating a successful promotional campaign should be a breeze, right?

If only. In reality, every email list comes with its own unique set of challenges. Some have abysmally low open rates, others may be full of folks who apply the “Flag as Spam” option a little too liberally. Fortunately, there are a few things that almost every recipient likes to see in their emails. Studies of recipient behavior have yielded a few findings that can be applied to just about any eCommerce email marketing campaign.

Recipients Prefer to Hear from Humans

Your recipients weren’t born yesterday. They want to know who their emails are coming from and why they should bother opening them. Simply adding a sender name to an email has been shown to yield both a higher open rate and click-through rate.

Recipients Prefer to Hear from Humans

While recipients are probably aware that they’re not receiving a personal communication from one of your team members, the addition of a human touch appears to go a long way toward gaining their trust. A bit of sender personalization is still possible even if you don’t want to use actual or individual names. Sending from “The Team at [Your Company]” or “Your friends at [Your Company]” could lend your eCommerce email marketing campaign the same approachability and friendliness.

A Picture’s Worth A Whole Bunch of Words

This probably won’t come as a surprise, but there’s not a whole lot of reading going on nowadays. With a constant deluge of fresh content becoming the new normal, many of us have become accustomed to skimming and headline-hopping to get the gist of a piece before moving on. Keeping your email short, digestible, and to the point is good, but finding a way to support your message with graphics is even better. A relevant image can work to both capture reader attention and help with message retention.

This isn’t to say that you should rely entirely on visual content. Some popular email clients block image downloads, so it’s wise to keep your most critical content in plain text. Not sure how to strike the balance between words and images? Think like a skimmer when building out your emails—if someone only took 11.1 seconds to read your email, what would they get out of it?

Dynamic Content Caters to the Individual

Dynamic content improves relevance, which increases revenue. By adjusting your message to better appeal to recipients based on characteristics like shopping behavior and lifecycle stage, dynamic content lets you send hyper-targeted emails that hone in on what your subscribers want to see. This can be especially useful to online retailers with large email lists that contain multiple personas and subscribers at every lifecycle stage. These lists can be segmented and then targeted with dynamic content built around any of the following:

  • Persona (What items would appeal to Persona A as opposed to Persona B?)
  • Shopping Behavior (A special discount for cart abandoners could prompt a return.)
  • Purchase History (Customers who have completed a purchase might be interested in related items and accessories.)
  • Lifecycle Stage (A discount might not be enough to tempt a skeptical prospective customer, but a link to some of your educational content might do the trick.)
  • Interests (Show off only your most relevant and appealing products.)

To successfully use dynamic content in your marketing, you will need both an email service that is capable of extensive segmentation and an eCommerce platform that can assign shoppers to different groups based on characteristics like location, actions taken, and referring page. Combined, these tools allow you to send extensively customized emails that cater to each shopper’s unique experience and needs.

Want to shake things up in your next email campaign? Check out our Revolutionary Guide to eCommerce Email Marketing.

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Posted by Contributor